.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pierce the Fog

Life and death. The bookends of existence. Tons and tons have been written seeking to understand these 2 realities. Even so, we still have questions and wonderings. We can read endlessly trying to gain every possible angle and perspective there is......but we will still ponder- why???? Simply part of our humanness. Atheists dismiss the whole conundrum by declaring there is no God and thus no absolute answer to why- just random happenings.  Why do they choose this??

 I can understand atheism to an extent. If there is a God why has He not been more proactive in showing Himself??? Why has He allowed so much pain and suffering ??  Why does He seem so       hidden??? I can relate to this much more at an emotional level than  an intellectual one. I have studied apologetics, read many  philosophy and psycholgy books. My mind  is pretty satisfied. My emotions- this is why I titled the post as i did.

I have always had a very  wild imagination. I believe I  am a highly sensitive person. I feel   things very deeply, even sometimes feel others peoples  emotions before they are aware of them themselves. Death has been centerstage for me as far as this goes. My father dying when I was 8 has been a looming shadow ever since it happened. He died from malignant melanoma, a very ravaging form of cancer. I did not know he was near death when it happened. My wild imagination has viewed death like a  grim reaper. It stays always present like a fog, and I never know when it will strike. I realize this is just a truth of reality at all times, but my awareness of it has always been  super acute. It is compounded by my being highly sensitive. Any feeling that seems to be odd or unordinary from normal ailments sends me into fight or flight mode- maybe death is here!!!!  No wonder i had high blood pressure even as a kid!!!! 

 This fear is exacerbated the last few years by  having congestive heart failure. Especially when I was in atrial fibrillation which is an irregular heartbeat. Could my heart suddenly stop??? Will it??? In those moments I freeze and become paralyzed by the thought/feelings of  dying. Is God there?? Will He be with me ,especially when the pain of my body dying happens??? I just whimper at times, whispering  please God please     then i sing hymns and worship songs. I pray. I sing  Jesus loves me and kumbayah. Gradually the fear dissipates and i fall asleep. Until the next time.

 What pierces the fog is when I focus on the cross and what Jesus did, as well as why He did it. Believing Jesus was fully human and fully God, that He knows and  feels everything I or anyone else think or feel- provides comfort. My inner critic of course parries with accusations of why have i doubted so much, how can I possibly expect Him to help me in death as well as the struggles of contemplating it??? The critic screams inside my mind that my faith is way too waek and small to  help me, my obedience way too little. May as well accept that  my fear will never  be removed and death one day will attack, just like it did my father.

 Kumbayah my Lord  Kumbayah. Pierce the  fog- let me know and feel You are here- yesterday today and forever!!!!!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Meeting Ben Born Again

Quite a transition from Roman Catholic to  free agent to Charismatic. Thus was a part of my spiritual journey. On the last day of  school my sophomore year of high school, a moment occurred that was a gamechanger for me. I was standing outside the auditorium, which contained the theater and choir rooms. These were my cliques. I emphasize Theater. My teacher/director, who was a former off-broadway director, was adamant....ITS NOT DRAMA ITS THEATER!!!! 

 Anyhow, I was standing having a few friends sign my yearbook,including this one girl from choir. I didn't know her really well but she was cool- and cute. Before she signed though she said, can i ask you a question??  I said ok. She got a big smile on her face and blurted out, *have you heard the Good News???*   Uh-oh. Red flags went off in my head, this is gonna be bad news for me even though something told me she was referring to  religion. The thing was- my friend was standing a lil ways down the hallway, making out with his gf, and we were going to get high shortly. I looked at her and   softly said, um no. She then began to tell me what the Good News was and in a nutshel told me the basics of the Gospel. I smiled and politely listened as she then asked if i would pray the sinners prayer with her. O wow. I felt between a rock and a hard  place but i told her ok..........as lon gas we could do it quick  and QUIETLY!!!!   She took my hand and with our heads bowed led me in the sinners prayer. Then she signed my yearbook,  Praise The Lord!!! I have just found a new brother in the Lord!!!!  Her opening  line. She told me to get strong in the Word and Prayer and gave me her number if i had any questions, and she gave me  small Gospel of John booklet.  Born Again. This was a start.

 I called her several times that summer. She did her best to disciple me with what she knew and took me to Calvary Chapel, the concert/bible study on saturday nights. This was 1977 Southern California ok???  Calvary Chapel looked more like a hippie commune than a church  LOL    The worship songs and emotional atmosphere were very different than my Catholic experience. I went almost every saturday night that whole summer though. I began a bible study by mail with a counselor from Calvary Chapel. My friend also taught me how to speak in tongues. One day we were talking about it on the phone and she proceeded to  give me a demonstration. All i recall hearing was kwee kway kwo and  then just  babble. I had no doctrinal undersatanding at this time so i took it as the Holy Spirit speaking through her.This began a season of zeal for speaking in tongues I did with a friend. We tape recorded ourselves and even  had  friends  and family witness us doing it so we could let the Spirit touch them through us. I know i know, southern californai I told ya. Never know what might happen.

 One night as Greg Laurie was preaching, I felt a sensation inside i couldnt explain, and it wouldn't go away. He was  making am altar call and something told me I just had to go forward and make a public profession of faith. Calvary Chapel is a premillennial dispensationalist fellowship theologically. Any message by  a teacher, preacher or musician  included  Jesus is Coming Back----SOON!!!  Heavy emphasis on rapture and not being left behind. Greg  had a lil pamphlet about growing as a believer and he had a lil guy on it called Ben Born-Again...... because he's been born again. I got a chance to meet Greg when he spoke at chapel at PCC. Was  too cool to tell him he had been used to lead me to Christ.

 I lost track of my friend over the years. last time we talked she was following Gene Scott and his teachings. I will always be so thankful to her for being bold and asking me about the Good News. A little seed sown that day.

 Btw- we did go and smoke pot that day. Southern California ya'll!!!!!!

Monday, October 01, 2012

just thoughts

I had a counselor tell me once all of us have a lil craziness to us, the question is- are we in control of it or is it in control of us???  I guess sin would fit this question eh??  Sin is by definition crazy in and of itself. Fighting against God, what could  be more crazy than that?? yet we all do it, some believing  there is no God to sin against though.

 It amazes me how our inner worlds are in constant motion, going all kinds of directions all at once, even though we may not reveal the slightest hint outwardly what we are experiencing inwardly. We all know how to maintain. Maintain. That is the word my friends in high school used for  keeping  composure publicly while stoned. Lol. Some can do that way better than others, some don't even want to do it.

Thoughts and feelings are intertwined so closely, hard to tell where one starts and the other ends. Funny how they get unblanced though. Some like to exclude one as opposed  to the other. Paul said he learned the secret of contentment in any situation he found hi8mself in. Of course, Paul had a spectacular vision of Jesus followed by months in seclusion being  trained for his apostleship with no  outside interference. How do we become like him and get that ability??  I know even when I find times of peace and contentment I soon  have thoughts and feeling   which interrupt it. Where do they come from??  James  says  we are tempted by our own  desires which emanate from our inner being. Is there a way to make that inner being completely yielded to God and His Will??? Is that what is supposed to happen when we are crucified with Christ so that we no longer live but Christ lives in us???  How can we  objectively know this is happening??? Don't we all bounce around like a pinball even when we don't want to because  things inside us and outside us effect us?? 

 Just thoughts. Feel free to  share if you  stop by and read.